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Authorities Offer Reward After Over A Dozen Fires Set In Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) -- Police and fire investigators are offering a reward for information that results in an arrest after an arsonist set 13 fires in a Santa Rosa neighborhood over the weekend.

It was early Sunday morning when crews extinguished the initial small fires reported on Hearn Avenue. Minutes later, nine more flared up on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail.

Fighting fires is more excitement than 13-year-old Vicky Hernandez wanted this weekend.

"We got a hose, but it wasn't long enough. So we got another and stuck it together," said Hernandez.

But when the arsonist set her neighbor's fence on fire, she and her dad put it out.

"We put water all over the bamboo, the fence, on either side of the fire so it wouldn't spread even more," explained Hernandez.

The fire was one of 13 the Santa Rosa Fire Department said were intentionally set late Saturday and early Sunday. Police and fire investigators are on the hunt for the party or parties responsible, offering a $2,500 dollar reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

"Given what happened here in October, this is the last thing this community needs," said Assistant Fire Marshall Paul Lowenthal. "That's why we have both agencies -- police and fire -- working on it to find who did this and catch them."

In all, 13 fires were set in the space of about an hour and a half.

"To purposely set a fire is to destroy. And given what happened in October, it's doubly bad. Because everyone knows now what damage that can do," said area resident Laura Loomis.

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